After-Work Routines That Will Make You Better at Your Job






photography by Christina Jones for the Everygirl

When it comes to setting ourselves up for success, we’ve found that curated after-work routines are one of the most crucial parts of our day. The hours after we close our laptops can truly make or break our week and are paramount in helping us reflect, invest in ourselves, recharge, and rest. Having a go-to post-work ritual can be the key to helping us show up as our best selves when we return to the grind the next day.

Finding a fulfilling routine that works for you doesn’t mean packing your post-work schedule with an unrealistic, overwhelming to-do list. It’s all about keeping it simple and finding balance. We’ve partnered with La Marca Prosecco, our bubbly of choice and a brand that stands for adding some sparkle and celebrating the little wins of every day. Together, we’ve made it our mission to help you curate an after-work routine that will set you up for success and make each moment special along the way. Whether you want to completely revamp your evening routine, make small adjustments, or start from scratch, these five after-work routines will help you get out of work mode so that you can show up as your best self:

 

1. For days when you feel like you can take on the world…





When we have those high-energy, wildly productive days, you might just make the choice to keep the ball rolling. Once you get home, switch out of your work clothes into activewear, turn on some of your favorite music, and get ready to make this evening the best one yet.

 

One thing your future self will thank you for:

If you feel like you have the bandwidth for a productive evening, it’s the perfect time to finally get to that one task on your to-do list that you’ve been avoiding. Maybe that task is a project like finally hanging up your gallery wall that’s been sitting behind your couch for far too long. Maybe it’s reviewing your finances and creating a realistic budget that you can stick to, or maybe it’s getting to the DMV to renew your license. Regardless of the task, we all have at least one that we put off for a multitude of reasons. Well, ladies, today is the day. Even if you don’t check it off of your list completely, giving it even 10 minutes of attention can make tackling it next time even more approachable.

 

One thing that will nourish your mind, body, or soul:

Get ready to get your sweat on because tonight, we’re getting active. Schedule a group class that you’ve always wanted to take, hit the gym, or enjoy the sights of your neighborhood with a quick run outdoors. No matter what type of activity you decide to do, we promise you’ll be happy you did it. Hello post-workout endorphin rush, we’ve missed you!

 

One thing to celebrate yourself:

While it might be second nature for us to compliment our coworkers for a job well done, a stranger on the street for rocking a fashion-forward outfit, or a friend for having a great sense of humor, it might not be as intuitive for us to compliment ourselves. Write it down or speak five self-centered compliments into the universe and pour a glass of La Marca bubbly to elevate the occasion because you’re worth celebrating.

 

One thing to wind down:

After a busy day, winding down is absolutely critical to cueing our minds and bodies that it’s time for sleep. Tonight, we’re grabbing our notebooks and our favorite pens, and we’re journaling. Whether you prefer to document a stream of consciousness, practice gratitude, or goal-set is your prerogative. It’s the perfect end to a busy day and will help you turn off your mind and body sans blue light.

 

 

2. For days when three cups of coffee didn’t cut it…





Let’s be real: As much as we’d love to feel like we’re able to take on the world seven days a week, it’s not always realistic. We’re human. Whether you’re feeling under the weather, powering through that time of the month, or drained from your workday, there’s still a way to preserve your energy while setting yourself up for a better tomorrow.

 

One thing your future self will thank you for:

We get it, you’re exhausted. While hopes for productivity today may have flown out the window, we still have tomorrow. Sit down and create a to-do list for tomorrow so that when you’re more rested, you have a plan and can get back into the swing of things. 

 

One thing that will nourish your mind, body, or soul:

One of our favorite, less demanding ways to nourish our mind and soul is to meditate. Meditating looks different for everyone, but if you’re new to it, start here and here. It’s the perfect activity for days when you’re feeling low energy but still interested in investing in your well-being and promoting a sense of calm and balance.

 

One thing to celebrate yourself:

Even on what may seem like the most insignificant days, there are aspects of your day to be grateful for. Sometimes it takes a bit of digging, but if you look closely, you might just find that good things are happening whether or not you initially notice them. Grab a notebook and write down three things you did well today and celebrate yourself. You deserve it.

 

One thing to wind down:

When considering low-effort ways to spend our time and wind down, reading is one of the first activities that come to mind. Pull out your longer-than-a-CVS-receipt to-read list and channel your inner bookworm. Even just six minutes of reading before bed can help reduce stress by 68% which makes it the perfect pre-sleep activity.

 

 

3. For days when you want to connect with others…





When we’re working diligently and zoom on over to our evening routines, it’s common that we find that we had little to no non-work, meaningful interactions all day. Whether it be FaceTiming a loved one, hitting up a quick happy hour with an old friend, or going on a walk with a significant other, connecting with humans is therapeutic, helps to improve self-esteem, and can foster a sense of purpose in your life.

 

One thing your future self will thank you for:

Call up a friend and compare your to-do lists. Again, we’re not saying that you need to get everything on your list done, but find one or two tasks that your friend may also have to do to make what might have been a lonesome chore a social hangout. Your next trip to the grocery store, the post office, or the bank just got a lot more fun.

 

One thing that will nourish your mind, body, or soul:

Going on a walk while catching up with an old friend is one of our favorite ways to merge our social lives and fitness. Get your steps in, chat about life, and leave feeling fulfilled. It’s a win-win situation if we’ve ever seen one.

 

One thing to celebrate yourself:

Hit up your work wife and engage in a happy hour toast. As much as we love celebrating with our friends and family, there’s something about toasting with someone who understands just how special even the smallest of work wins are. Grab a glass of La Marca Prosecco and your work wife and pop, clink, and cheers to celebrating all of your wins—big and small. 

 

One thing to wind down:

When was the last time that you let your loved ones know just how special they are to you? And when was the last time that you wrote someone a handwritten letter? Get cozy, grab some stationary, and get to writing. Writing love letters to the important people in your life can instill a sense of gratitude, help you connect with your emotions, and serve as a beautiful connection point between you and those that you love.

 

 

4. For days when you want a bit of an adventure…





As much as we love being homebodies, there are days when we want to get out and about from the constraints of our humble abodes and see the world around us. In times like these, get outdoors, attempt something new, and get a bit out of your comfort zone.

 

One thing your future self will thank you for:

Take the guesswork out of tomorrow by laying out tomorrow’s outfit and making your lunch. Getting ready for the next day early on in your after-work routine will make you available to completely turn off work mode and focus on yourself.

 

One thing that will nourish your mind, body, or soul:

You’ve always wanted to try that one workout class, and today is the day. Trying a new workout like yoga, weight lifting, kickboxing, or pilates can be a great way to get yourself out of your fitness rut, excite you to move again, and activate new muscles that you didn’t even know existed.

 

One thing to celebrate yourself:

We don’t know who needs to hear this, but you are worthy of being wined and dined. Today, take matters into your own hands and take yourself on a date. Go to a new, fancy restaurant in your city, set up a cute beach picnic for one, hit up your local museum, or making yourself an elaborate dinner. Make the moment extra special by adding a sparkling, refreshing glass of La Marca Prosecco because, honey, you deserve it.

 

One thing to wind down:

Take a bath. Yes, we’re talking the whole nine yards including but not limited to a bath caddy, your favorite book, and that one face mask you’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to use. You don’t need a fancy bathtub situation to have the most luxurious bath of your life. All you need is a few key items, your favorite candle, and yourself, and you’re good to go.

 

 

5. For days when you could use a little inspiration…





When work and life demands become overwhelming, it can sometimes feel like we’re automated robots, jumping from task to task and keeping our head down until we get caught up (plot twist: we never actually get caught up). On days like these, it’s easy to lose perspective on why we started and to remember why we do what we do every day. When the workday ends, put down your computer and get ready to get inspired again.

 

One thing your future self will thank you for:

If you ask us, a messy, disorganized home can truly cost us some inner peace. When our space is clean, we feel reenergized and reinspired. While it’s not realistic to deep clean your home every day, even taking a few minutes to tidy up can make you feel fresh and can serve as a clean slate for the rest of your evening and tomorrow.

 

One thing that will nourish your mind, body, or soul:

Maybe you already have a go-to hobby that you love or maybe you’re still on the hunt for one that sets your soul ablaze. Investing time in a hobby can help us to foster joy, reduce stress, and learn new skills. Whether you opt for learning a new language, playing an instrument, painting, or crafting, practicing a hobby is the perfect intentional way to spend some “me” time and can help you escape the mundane demands of life.

 

One thing to celebrate yourself:

When you’re keeping your head down and feeling like you’re just trying to get by, it can be easy to lose sight of how well you’re doing, what you’ve accomplished, and just how far you’ve come. Consider asking yourself this question: Where was I at this time last year? If you’re feeling even more nostalgic, go back two years, five years, and 10 years. Remember who you were, where you were at, and what you wanted, and celebrate just how far you’ve come. Your past self would be so proud of who you are today and so should your present self.

 

One thing to wind down:

When you’re ready to call it a day, listen to a podcast while doing your nighttime routine to help inspire you. We love these motivating podcasts for days where we’re feeling like we could use a bit of encouragement. For extra credit, journal your thoughts during and after you listen.

 

 





 

La Marca Prosecco is an elegant sparkling wine grown in the heart of Italy’s Prosecco region. La Marca Prosecco believes in celebrating the joy in everyday moments, including the tireless work that so many women go through to make their dreams come true. A focus on career empowerment has always been part of The Everygirl’s mission, and our partnership with La Marca Prosecco has helped us take that mission into the real world with live and virtual events, small business grants, and more. Let’s raise a glass to that!

 

 







This post is sponsored by La Marca Prosecco but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl Media Group editorial board.

 

5 Things You Need for a Cozy Night In

The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.






Madeline Galassi | The Everygirl

It’s a Friday afternoon, and you’re gearing up to finish work for the week, change into your most comfortable clothes, and spend your night participating in one of the greatest joys in life: a cozy night in.

Sponsored by GoHydrate /

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Sure, going out is always fun, but there’s just something about knowing you have nowhere to be but your couch and that you can do anything you want all night long that feels like a treat time and time again, especially come fall.

All nights in are not created equal, and when one falls into your lap, you should take the necessary steps to maximize the coziness (and therefore the enjoyment) of your night. Ready for the best night in of your life? These five things are all you need for the cozy night of your dreams.

 

1. A book you don’t want to put down

When you’re spending a night alone, there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book and diving in. Our favorite book to read this fall? Liane Moriarty’s—who you already know from her best-sellers like Big Little Lies and Nine Perfect Strangers—new book, Apples Never Fall.

Liane Moriarty is known for creating in-depth characters. You’re not only pulled in from the storyline but also from how much you feel like you understand each and every character in the book. The four Delaney siblings are facing a problem: Their mother is missing, but the most obvious suspect is their father—and there’s damning evidence that makes them question what exactly happened to their mother.

Throughout the book, you get to read about the Delaneys’ history and what makes each of them tick, and you get a first-hand glimpse into the complexities that come with being a family. If you’ve already binged Nine Perfect Strangers on Hulu, this book is the perfect follow-up. Moriarty’s guaranteed new best-seller is going to be the talk of the book world, and you’re going to want to get your hands on it now.





Liane Moriarty

Apples Never Fall

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2. A cozy look

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When you’re lounging around for the night, you’re going to want to make sure you’re doing it in clothes that are as comfortable and cozy as possible. Now isn’t a time for bras or leggings—it’s full-on loungewear or bust.

We all have those pieces in our wardrobes that are reserved for when we want to feel the most comfortable, and tonight’s the night to wear them. Wrap yourself up in the coziest pieces you have, and bask in the joy that is knowing nobody’s going to see you tonight. 

Barefoot Dreams

CozyChic Lite Long Cardigan

7 colors available
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Barefoot Dreams Plus

CozyChic Lite Circle Cardigan

2 colors available
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Lou & Grey

Drawstring Joggers

4 colors available
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Old Navy

High Waisted Sweatpants

3 colors available
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Barefoot Dreams

CozyChic Socks

2 colors available
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UGG

Shearling Slipper

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3. Your favorite hot drink

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Whether you want to opt for a homemade decaf pumpkin latte or a piping hot cup of tea, having a warm beverage in hand is vital for optimal coziness. We’re partial to heating up a kettle of water and steeping our favorite tea (preferably for multiple cups’ worth of joy) and opting for one in a flavor that’s made for a fall night. We’re looking at you, chai.

If you’re more in the mood for a glass of wine than apple cider, pop the cork on your favorite red to sip on all night long.

TAZO

Chai Pumpkin Spice Tea

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Starbucks

Pumpkin Spice Ground Coffee

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Sweet Water Decor

Sweater Weather Mug

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Threshold

Ghost Ceramic Mug

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4. A fall-scented candle

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There’s nothing quite like a candle that you savor every time you light it because you know that it can only be lit for a few nights of the year. Whether your go-to scent is a sweet pumpkin one or one that smells like it might be a very hot man’s cologne, having the lights low and a candle lit makes any room automatically double as cozy. 

If you have candlesticks, make use of them and light them next to your scented one. Not only will the ambiance be immaculate, but it’ll make the night feel like a special treat, just for you.

Hearth & Hand with Magnolia

Harvest Spiced Ceramic Candle

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DIPTYQUE

Oud Candle

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Boy Smells

Polyamberous Candle

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Frères Branchiaux

Chunky Sweater Scented Candle

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5. Mood lighting

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The key to making any room feel like it’s begging for you to stay in? Low mood lighting, preferably in the form of twinkle lights.

Turn off your head lights and lamps and rely on the light from your candles and twinkle lights to brighten your room all night long. Once you use candles and twinkle lights, the chance of you turning back to your main room lighting on a night in is slim to none.

Amazon | Twinkle Star

Fairy String Lights

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Amazon | Twinkle Star

Curtain String Lights

2 colors available
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This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Henry Holt & Co., but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.

 

Best of Beauty Awards 2021: Tools

Best Makeup Tools of 2021  Makeup Brushes Hot Tools  Skin Care Device  Allure Best of Beauty Awards

Photographer: Jacq Harriet; Fashion Stylist: Herin Choi; Hair: Eric R. Williams; Makeup: Mariko Herano; Models: Laura at Elite, Cory at New Pandemics, Aalyah at IMG

It is no surprise that beauty tech is ever-evolving, but we continue to be blown away by the tool innovations we find each year during our Best of Beauty Award testing process — and this year's winners are no exception. Flatirons and curling irons are fancier and more intuitive than ever, offering the ability to meet a wide range of hair textures and styling needs. Updated makeup tools have made it a whole lot easier to recreate all of your saved TikTok looks, and applying false lashes is now nearly foolproof.

We don't know what we'd do without trusted beauty professionals, but time at home has turned many of us into skilled makeup artists and hairstylists. With this year's lineup of tools, all of which rightfully earned the coveted Best of Beauty Award seal, your artistry is about to be leveled up like never before.

Among the winners there is an incredibly lightweight blow-dryer from Drybar that smooths any hair texture without leaving your arms sore. There's also Glamnetic XoXo's Vegan Magnetic Lash, which eliminates the need for glue and a steady hand. And while many other brands have tried to steal the spotlight, we're giving Shu Uemura's iconic eyelash curler yet another win — because, well, there's just no duplicating it.

There's so much to be excited about. But focus your attention for a second on all of the top tools below that stole our hearts. When you're done, click over to see the full list of this year's 2021 Best of Beauty winners. Prepare to be wowed. —Nykia Spradley

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

KeywordsBest of Beautyhot toolsmakeup brushesbase makeupbrushesheat toolshair toolsmakeup spongesmakeup brushconcealer brushface powderlash curlerfull browsgrooming productsrevlonAllure Best of Beautyrepackageshoppingshopping guideBest of Beauty 2021

Best of Beauty Awards 2021: Nails

19 Best Nail Products Polish Topcoat and Nail Care of 2021  Allure Best of Beauty

Photographer: Elliot & Erick Jimenez; Stylist: Rachael Wang; Hair: Nikki Nelms; Makeup: Frankie Boyd; Manicure: Eri Handa; Set designer: Jenny Correa; Producer: Marcos Fecchino

This past year was, among other things, a time when a lot of people finally mastered the at-home manicure. What might have started out of necessity became a hobby for plenty of folks, whether they expanded their classic nail polish collection, bought an at-home gel kit, or found themselves fully immersed in the press-on nail resurgence.

While we're thrilled salons are reopening, we also know you might continue to enjoy doing your own nails from time to time. To ensure your at-home kit is stocked with the cream of the well-manicured crop, Allure editors tested hundreds of nail products, then narrowed it down to 19 winners we feel confident calling the best.

Looking for the perfect bright red, trendiest light blue, or creamiest nude nail polish? We've got you. How about a sparkly topcoat that layers well over any color? No problem. Maybe you're looking for a set of nice, long press-ons, or custom nail wraps for your next in-person party? We have picks for those too, plus all the extras (remover, cuticle oil, nippers, etc.) you need to ensure your manicure comes out looking pretty darn professional.

Scroll through to see this group of winners, then check out the rest of the 2021 Best of Beauty winners list. —Kara McGrath

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

KeywordsBest of Beautynail productsNail PolishManicuresnailsnail carepedicurehand creamshand lotionessie nail polishopiZoyaSally HansenAllure Best of Beautyrepackageshoppingshopping guideBest of Beauty 2021

How Long the Honeymoon Phase Actually Lasts






Source: cottonbro | Pexels

If you’ve ever been in a relationship, you have probably experienced that magical time in the beginning of it when your partner is seemingly perfect and nothing else feels as important or exciting—otherwise known as the honeymoon phase. If you’re still reading, you’re also likely familiar with those feelings of uncertainty that tend to creep in when the honeymoon phase begins to phase out. When the total bliss and non-stop PDA ends, it can be easy to question the future of the relationship.

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We took a deep dive into the honeymoon phase, and asked experts everything from why we have it to begin with, to what to do when it inevitably ends.

 

In this article

1
What is “the honeymoon phase?”

2
How long does it last?

3
Can you extend it?

4
What to do when the honeymoon phase ends

 

What is “the honeymoon phase?”

The honeymoon phase is the early stages of a relationship, when your excitement is heightened and nothing else seems to matter as much as the time you spend with your partner. Lindsey Mestelaar, host of hit millennial dating podcast We Met at Acme, defines the honeymoon phase as “a time when the other person can do no wrong and the relationship feels untouchable, as though nothing and no one can get in the way.”

“It’s as if you’re both in a magic bubble, and the rest of the world doesn’t intrude because you feel so connected,” explained Dr. Neil Wilkie, a psychotherapist and relationship expert, to Healthline. During this period, you begin to fantasize about your future together, and your stomach is likely filled with those early-in-the-game butterflies.

 

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How long does it last?

Every couple and circumstance differs too much to define a “normal” length of time, but the honeymoon phase could last anywhere from the first couple of months to the first couple of years. It also depends on the amount of time you spent with your significant other. For example, it’s more likely for the newness to fade sooner if you immediately spend every day together, than for a long-distance couple who only see each other every so often. It doesn’t mean that the love is any less, it’s just about the time it takes for the newness to fade. 

In some relationships, the honeymoon phase could end in a moment you’re able to pinpoint, such as a big argument that makes you realize some red flags or flaws you didn’t see before, but it’s typically a gradual shift that occurs over time. You may start to pick up on little things about your partner that bug you that you hadn’t noticed before, or realize you’re putting in less effort to get ready for dates. You’ll likely disagree more than you had in the beginning of the relationship, but you’ll also learn to communicate with your partner.

 

Can you extend it?

So if the length of the honeymoon phase varies, how do we make sure our relationships are on the longer side?

“One of the many factors that affect the length [of the honeymoon phase] is how emotionally and mentally healthy each partner is,” explained Dr. Kristie Overstreet, a psychotherapist and host of the Fix Yourself First podcast. “If you are focusing on what you can do to be your healthiest self and working on your ability to communicate effectively with your partner, this phase can last longer.”

In case you needed another excuse to squeeze in some self-care, sometimes the length of the honeymoon phase has more to do with how you feel about yourself than about your partner. In other words, the healthier your relationship is with yourself, the healthier your relationship will be with your partner. Prioritize your own friendships, hobbies, and self-care, and work on effective communication to let your partner know your needs and work through disagreements without letting them become full-blown fights.

However, the end of the honeymoon phase is not something to dread, and it does not mean that your relationship is no longer exciting. In fact, it might just be something to celebrate. Think about it: You’ve made it through the phase driven by butterflies and physical attraction, and now you’re in the phase where you can truly build a strong friendship and partnership–butterflies aside. Read on for tips to help keep your relationship healthy and happy after the honeymoon phase has simmered down. 

 

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What to do when the honeymoon phase ends

 

Identify what your relationship will truly be like

When the honeymoon phase ends, the reality of the relationship sets in, and that’s when you can truly get a sense of what the rest of your life would be like with this person. Your significant other was likely on their best behavior at the beginning, and now’s the time when you start to see who they really are. How do they treat you when they’re not trying to impress you? Do you enjoy your time with them when you’re sitting at home on a Tuesday night just as much as a whirlwind date night? When the butterflies, initial physical attraction, and newness has died down, you’ll get a better sense of who this person truly is and what your life together would be like. 

 

Accept your partner’s flaws

This is the point where you realize the other person is not perfect, and more importantly, you stop thinking you need perfect. But they’ll also start noticing your flaws and you’ll stop trying to hide them (read: shaving your legs every few days instead of before every date).

But there’s something even more romantic about showing your flaws and being loved because of them, rather than the expectation that you’re perfect (hint: no one is). Ilana Dunn, host of Seeing Other People, is a firm believer that you should embrace the end of the honeymoon phase. “While it’s fun to get swept up in the fantasy and excitement, the ability to accept your partner for who they are, flaws and all, is extremely important in building a lasting relationship,” she said. 

 

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Be OK with changes in your sex life

The most common indicator couples tend to point out to identify the end of the honeymoon phase is when the sex becomes less frequent. This is another very normal occurrence in a long-term relationship, and one that all couples experience at one point or another. While the honeymoon phase can absolutely make a reappearance after big relationship milestones (such as moving in together, getting engaged, or going on your actual honeymoon), it is a phase that is meant to end (I mean, nobody has time for that much sex for the rest of their lives!). To keep sex feeling spicy when the newness ends, click here. 

 

Celebrate the new phase of your relationship

The biggest takeaway: Enjoy the honeymoon phase while you’re in it, and try not to stress about when it will end. The end of your honeymoon phase does not mean it’s the end of your relationship, unless you realize that you were only into this person because of the physical attraction and butterflies.

In healthy relationships with mutual care and respect, the end of the honeymoon phase is only the beginning of the relationship. When you truly get to know each other, go through ups and downs together, and build more memories, your relationship will be stronger than any sexual attraction or butterflies in your stomach could ever be. As Dunn said, “It needs to end so the next phase of your relationship can begin.” 

 

Newly Dating? Here’s How Build a Healthy Relationship

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Best of Beauty Awards 2021: Best Steals

23 Best Drugstore Makeup Skin and Hair Products of 2021  Allure Best of Beauty Awards

Photographer: Jacq Harriet; Fashion stylist: Herin Choi; Hair: Eric R. Williams; Makeup: Mariko Herano; Models: Laura at Elite, Cory at New Pandemics, Aalyah at IMG

There's no denying that the drugstore beauty aisle has gotten some upgrades in the past few years. Next to the simple cleansers and moisturizers you can now find retinol and hyaluronic acid serums. Makeup brands are keeping up with emerging trends, including with skin tint and cream blush launches. And the hair-care aisle has gotten a few reboots with more options for curls and coils.

Besides these upgrades, many of us rely on drugstore products — whether for a childhood staple we can't let go of or the need to quickly buy a matte lipstick before going out with friends — for convenience and affordability. It's part of the reason why we have our Steals category. Amid testing hundreds of products for the annual Best of Beauty Awards, we get to give an extra shout-out to the products that blew our minds without stressing our bank accounts.

Our only requirement for the Steals category: The product has to be $11 or less. (We raised it by $1 from last year to ensure we're getting every product we can.) The category is divided into four subcategories: body, hair, makeup, and skin — and we have a feeling you're going to enjoy our picks, such as the hyaluronic-acid infused Maybelline New York Lifter Lip Gloss and Pantene's hydrating Miracle Intense Rescue Shots. 

Without further delay, here are the 2021 Allure Best of Beauty Award winners in the Steals category. Enjoy the savings. —Gabi Thorne

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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The Most Innovative Beauty Products of 2021

Best Innovative Beauty Products Breakthrough Awards 2021  Allure Best of Beauty Awards

Photographer: Jacq Harriet; Fashion stylist: Herin Choi; Hair: Eric R. Williams; Makeup: Mariko Herano; Models: Laura at Elite, Cory at New Pandemics, Aalyah at IMG

Earlier this year, we began researching products that would eventually win the Allure Best of Beauty Awards. We swiped, sudsed, and slathered thousands of beauty products — and along the way, we discovered seven that were unlike any beauty product we'd seen before. And that's saying a lot coming from editors whose bathrooms look like unorganized back rooms at Sephora. These seven innovative beauty products won our 2021 Best of Beauty Breakthrough Awards.

The process to explore whether a beauty product is a Breakthrough is a deep dive. It's a monthslong journey that involves poring over clinical data and sending every nominee and its credentials to our independent judges, including cosmetic chemists, hairstylists, makeup artists, dermatologists, and sustainability advocates. They dedicate hours to studying each product to answer one question: Is this really a breakthrough?

They shared with us what they loved, hated, and, most importantly, which products were unlike anything they'd gotten their hands on before. Here, we present seven of the most revolutionary innovations we've ever seen — ones that have changed the way we approach beauty. These new products boggled our editors' minds and forever changed our beauty routines. We hope your mind is blown as much as ours was (and still is).

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

KeywordsBest of Beautybest of beauty breakthorughscosmetic chemistsmakeup artistisreviewsdentistskin technologytechnologylifestyle trendsAllure Best of BeautyrepackageBreakthroughsshoppingshopping guideBest of Beauty 2021

Best of Beauty Awards 2021: Base

The Best Foundations Concealers and Highlighters of 2021  Allure Best of Beauty Awards

Photographer: Elliot & Erick Jimenez; Stylist: Rachael Wang; Hair: Nikki Nelms; Makeup: Frankie Boyd; Manicure: Eri Handa; Set designer: Jenny Correa; Producer: Marcos Fecchino

We know the perfect makeup look doesn't exist, but for every beauty look (whether done at the hands of a professional or an amateur), the road to perfection starts with a solid base — the products that make up our complexion.

We know it's hard to choose the best foundation when there are different formulas for every skin type. It's even harder to choose concealer when there are those that are better at covering blemishes versus those that are best for hiding dark circles. And, oh, don't even get us started on rifling through bronzers and blushes.

All that goes without even mentioning that this year has been a weird one for those of us who love a fully beat base. Though all of these products might not be a part of our daily routine the way they used to be, highlighters, setting powders, and the like are still an integral part of our beauty regimens (especially when used as a midday pick-me-up between Zoom meetings).

That's why our talented panel of judges swatched their way through 835 submissions, narrowing it down to 11 subcategories and 23 seal-worthy products to bring you the base winners for the 2021 Allure Best of Beauty Awards. We can't wait for you to find your next go-to highlighter, can't-live-without blush, and so much more. —Talia Gutierrez

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

KeywordsBest of BeautyFoundationbronzerbasehighlightercontoursetting spraymakeup setting spraysconcealer for eyesconcealer paletteself-tannerstannerspowder foundationpressed powderface primerAllure Best of Beautyrepackageshoppingshopping guideBest of Beauty 2021

3 Dermatologists Share Their Favorite Acne Products

The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.





Anyone who has ever dealt with acne knows that finding over-the-counter skincare products is a battle. If it handles the acne you already have, it does just about nothing to prevent new spots from coming up. If it gets rid of cystic acne, it doesn’t touch the blackheads on your nose. There’s seemingly nothing on the market that keeps spots at bay while also moisturizing your skin. Your expectations may have been too high if you wanted your acne products to do it all—but that doesn’t mean you have to end your search entirely.

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After some proper formulations and good old-fashioned product testing, dermatologists have found products that finally do the impossible: treat your acne—all of it—without leaving your skin a flaky mess in the process. We asked a few of our favorite derms around the country for their favorite products to keep acne at bay, fight blackheads, and keep your skin bright and clear. 

 

Meet the expert
Dr. Rachel Maiman, MD
BOARD-CERTIFIED DERMATOLOGIST
Dr. Maiman focuses on cosmetic and general dermatology and is based in New York.





Differin

Acne Treatment Gel

This formerly prescription-only but now drugstore-available gel contains adapelene, a synthetic retinoid. Topical retinoids are the backbone of most acne regimens, as they work by several mechanisms to prevent clogging of pores, inflammation, and the growth of P. acnes. Because it’s synthetic, it has been formulated to be gentler than other prescription acne medications. For those who’ve graduated from over-the-counter retinol but aren’t quite ready for the full intensity of a prescription retinoid, adapalene is an excellent choice.

–Dr. Rachel Maiman

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SkinMedica

AHA/BHA Cream

I recommend this face cream for oily and acne-prone skin for use up to twice daily. It contains four alpha-hydroxy-acids (AHAs), which include lactic, glycolic, citric, and malic acids. It also has salicylic acid, a popular acne-fighting ingredient classified as a beta-hydroxy-acid. While using both AHAs and BHAs can potentially be more irritating, this product has other active ingredients that reduce this risk. There’s tocopheryl acetate, a stabilized form of vitamin E, and pro-vitamin B5. Both are humectants and emollients, which makes them great at combating the dryness and irritation that can be caused by the use of hydroxy-acids.

–Dr. Rachel Maiman

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Meet the expert
Dr. Caroline Chang
BOARD-CERTIFIED DERMATOLOGIST
Dr. Chang is a board-certified dermatologist in Rhode Island specializing in medical and cosmetic dermatology.





CeraVe

Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser

[This is] a benzoyl peroxide cleanser to clear out pores combined with ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which protect the skin from dryness and irritation. This is a great product for acne-prone skin that is also sensitive or dry.

–Dr. Caroline Chang

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Kate Sommerville

EradiKate Daily Cleanser Acne Treatment

The active ingredient in this cleanser is sulfur, an underrated anti-acne ingredient I recommend frequently to my patients. Sulfur decreases the bacteria that causes acne, removes oil from the skin’s surface, and exfoliates dead skin cells to prevent blackheads. It is less irritating than many other acne-fighting ingredients and so is an excellent choice for patients who are both acne-prone and also have sensitive skin.

–Dr. Rachel Maiman

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Hero Cosmetics

Mighty Patch Original Acne Patches

Hydrocolloid dressings have been used in wound healing for years, and these tiny patches are great for use on acne pimples. The best part about these dressings is that they block you from picking at your skin!

–Dr. Caroline Chang

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Meet the expert
Dr. Caroline Robinson
BOARD-CERTIFIED DERMATOLOGIST
Founder of Tone Dermatology in Chicago, Dr. Robinson specializes in surgical, medical, and general dermatology.





BLK/OPL Beauty

PHA + BHA Exfoliating Toner

The BLK/POL Even True PHA + BHA Exfoliating Toner is a great choice because of the blend of gentle but effective polyhydroxy acids and salicylic acid, which help to unclog the pores.

–Dr. Caroline Robinson

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Neutrogena

Stubborn Acne Morning Treatment

The Neutrogena Stubborn Acne AM treatment uses 2.5 percent micronized benzoyl peroxide to help target and eliminate acne-causing bacteria quickly. It pairs well with the Stubborn Marks PM treatment, which contains a refined form of vitamin A called retinol SA, which is clinically proven to visibly fade marks and treat hyperpigmentation concerns over time.

–Dr. Caroline Robinson

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Panoxyl

Creamy Facial Treatment Wash

Benzoyl peroxide works in several ways. It is bactericidal, meaning it directly kills P. acnes, a bacteria well known to be implicated in the development of acne. It also removes sebum and dead skin cells from pores and prevents the formation of clogged pores, which ultimately serve as the foundation for more inflammatory acne lesions. This foaming wash comes in concentrations of both 10 percent and 4 percent. When used on the face, I tend to recommend the lower percentage, as it minimizes dryness and irritation without compromising efficacy.

–Dr. Rachel Maiman

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MM Skincare

Balance Serum

This serum does exactly what the name suggests: It balances out the skin, and that’s exactly what I use it for. Because acne-fighting ingredients have the potential to be irritating, I have been incorporating this serum into the regimens I create for patients to help calm redness and irritation, which is important in ensuring they are able to use other products consistently. In addition to calming the skin, this unique proprietary blend of botanicals actually targets acne through more independent mechanisms than conventional acne-fighting ingredients.

–Dr. Rachel Maiman

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11 Skincare Products a Dermatologist Would Pick Up at CVS

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Best of Beauty Awards 2021: Lips

19 Best Lip Makeup of 2021 Colors Balm Gloss  Allure Best of Beauty Awards

Photographer: Elliot & Erick Jimenez; Stylist: Rachael Wang; Hair: Nikki Nelms; Makeup: Frankie Boyd; Manicure: Eri Handa; Set designer: Jenny Correa; Producer: Marcos Fecchino

If there's one beauty lesson we've dutifully embraced throughout 2021, it's not to take our lipsticks for granted. The bold swipe of a full-pigment, matte-red bullet, or the comfortable sheen of a tinted balm, and the glamorous shine of a glitter-packed gloss…few were felt during the isolation and rare, face-covered social outings of the last year and a half. But now lipstick, just like the world at large, is attempting a shaky comeback to normality, and at Allure, we understand that return isn't necessarily a given.

So we savored every single cream bullet, liquid matte lipstick, gloss, balm, and stain (we tried hundreds of them) while determining which ones would earn our beloved Best of Beauty seal because we know we might not be wearing our tried-and-trues — like YSL Beauty Rouge Volupté Shine Lipstick Balm in Rouge Studio or Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Cream Color Drip Lip Cream — in public as often as we'd like.

Thankfully, there's nothing stopping us (and you) from enjoying a bold red like Pound Cake's Maraschino Cherry or the buttery, neutral Maybelline New York Ultimatte in More Truffle at home and around your vaccinated loved ones. Trust us, that's exactly what we'll be doing with the 2021 Best of Beauty-winning lip products below. Because now we know better than ever that wearing lipstick is more for the wonderful feeling than for the look itself. And that's something we'll revel in every chance we get.

Scroll through to see each winner, then be sure to read the full list of 2021 Allure Best of Beauty winners. —Nicola Dall’Asen

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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